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Simon Martin: Musique d’art Bozzini Quartet

Very impressive, super-solidly played by the Bozzini plus one — a heady outing. The Squid’s Ear, USA

Cette fresque auditive de haute voltige nous chavire aux quatre coins de notre corps, jouant avec notre confort, tiraillant nos méninges. Musique d’art est une escapade sonore intransigeante, défiant son public à plonger au plus profond de lui-même. Mes enceintes font défaut, Québec

Organizational structures hide the phenomena on which they are built. For example, spoken language requires both a certain perception of fundamental elements (phonemes), and a state of transcendence that enables us to forget these very elements. Similarly, in the aural sphere, music is the negation of sound for the benefit of its organization. Nevertheless, a sound that is completely left to its autonomous state (as opposed to it being collected for its potential as a poetic tool) goes back to the hum of nature. Thus, in order for it to be aesthetically perceivable, sound needs nature as much as music needs sound. Musique d’art pour quintette à cordes articulates this dialectical tension between sound and music; seeking balance.

Simon Martin

  • Collection QB
  • CQB 1922 / 2019
  • UPC/EAN 771028372225
  • Total duration: 63:04

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • Collection QB
  • CQB 1922_NUM / 2019
  • UPC/EAN 771028372287
  • Total duration: 63:04

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

• MP3 • OGG • FLAC

Simon Martin: Musique d’art

Bozzini Quartet

Simon Martin

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In the press

  • Brian Olewnick, The Squid’s Ear, September 19, 2019
    Very impressive, super-solidly played by the Bozzini plus one — a heady outing.
  • William Paulhus, Mes enceintes font défaut, June 3, 2019
    Cette fresque auditive de haute voltige nous chavire aux quatre coins de notre corps, jouant avec notre confort, tiraillant nos méninges. Musique d’art est une escapade sonore intransigeante, défiant son public à plonger au plus profond de lui-même.
  • Dolf Mulder, Vital, no. 1183, May 13, 2019
    Playing with timbre and pitch the music deeply resonates, and is very expressive and emotional in its own way. In a great performance by Quator Bozzini and Maranda!
  • Stuart Broomer, The WholeNote, no. 24:7, April 1, 2019
    A kind of stable mystery, Musique d’art can only grow in significance.
  • Pierre Durr, Revue & Corrigée, no. 119, March 1, 2019
    L’écoute se révèle fascinante…
  • Daniel Barbiero, Avant Music News, February 28, 2019
    Martin set out to create a fecund dialectic of sound and music with the piece, and in that he has succeeded. (cqb_1922). […] Both pieces are quintessential Niblock — thickly textured swarms of drones made up of microtones and moving timbres. Sustaining the requisite long tones undoubtedly is a challenge to the players’ physical stamina, but the sounds never falter. (cqb_1924)

Review

Brian Olewnick, The Squid’s Ear, September 19, 2019

Martin (b.1975), a new name to this listener, is a Québecois composer. His Musique d’art pour quintette à cordes is for string quartet plus a double bassist, here Quatuor Bozzini (Clemens Merkel, violin; Alissa Cheung, violin; Stéphanie Bozzini, viola; Isabelle Bozzini, cello) augmented by bassist Pierre-Alexandre Maranda.

The piece is in five sections, each lasting between ten and fifteen minutes. Although almost entirely consisting of long-held notes, I don’t particularly hear the music as drone-related. Martin seems much more concerned with timbre and very physical textures, reminding me a little of the string music of Helmut Lachenmann. The opening section is all whispers, bows drawn lightly across either damped strings or portions of the instruments’ bodies (I think). Gradually, the tones gain substance, sliding up against one another microtonally, grain against grain. Even so, the first movement is fairly relaxed, with an implicit, soft rocking back and forth. The next section introduces the darkly growling bass that will feature throughout the work’s remainder, but also even rougher, harshly vibrating strings where the vibration of the cords is a palpable presence, though Martin also injects a substantial amount of “air” into the proceedings, ensuring that the overall effect isn’t claustrophobic. It dissolves into drips and drizzles by the movement’s end. The next portion is somewhat eerie, with sliding tones oozing past each other, undergirded by heavy bass lines, the higher pitches popping like bubbles towards its conclusion. This aura is picked up in the fourth section, soon developing into staggered, quasi-rhythmic short bowings from bass and cello beneath high chirps — a kind of ungainly, but charming, march. In the last few minutes, the music wallows around an A, a cloudy, rich tuning session, vibrating intensely, casting off all manner of particles. Martin pulls all these strands together in the final section: the rich, thundering bass, the ethereal high microtones and even an underlying sense of near-Romantic melody, just a touch, as though a guiding spirit might have been Rachmaninoff’s Isle of the Dead all this time (far more likely only this listener’s takeaway).

Very impressive, super-solidly played by the Bozzini plus one — a heady outing.

Very impressive, super-solidly played by the Bozzini plus one — a heady outing.

Critique

William Paulhus, Mes enceintes font défaut, June 3, 2019

Ça y est, le Suoni Per Il Popolo s’entame officiellement demain à Montréal et il s’étendra jusqu’au 23 juin prochain. Afin de réellement débuter notre couverture de ce très éclectique événement, nous croyons qu’une sortie à l’extérieur de notre ligne éditoriale s’impose pour refléter la richesse de la programmation qui nous est offerte. C’est en vous présentant la plus récente parution du Quatuor Bozzini que nous espérons vous donner l’envie d’assister aux premiers jours du festival. La raison derrière cette sélection est bien simple, nous avons adoré l’écoute de leur album Phil Niblock: Baobab paru en début d’année et avons très hâte de les voir à l’œuvre lors de la semaine de lancement du Suoni. Même si ce que nous analyserons dans les prochaines lignes ne correspond pas à ce qui sera reproduit sur scène, nous espérons vous mettre l’eau à la bouche et surtout piquer votre curiosité.

Avec cette ambitieuse création du compositeur Simon Martin, l’imprévisibilité et la fragilité du son jongleront avec votre perception. Très confrontant par moments, le quatuor est particulièrement fascinant sur Musique d’art pour quintette à cordes: B. Cette fresque auditive de haute voltige nous chavire aux quatre coins de notre corps, jouant avec notre confort, tiraillant nos méninges. La suite nous propose une certaine forme d’accalmie, se voulant toutefois inquiétante et sournoise. Les sonorités virevoltent avec méfiance dans la pièce, s’appropriant instantanément le lieu d’écoute. Nous faisons face à un album absorbant qui nous attrape dans sa toile et nous observe sans empressement. Cette musique vivante est empreinte d’un trait incontestablement dramatique, penchant plutôt vers le cauchemar que le rêve inoffensif. La dernière composition en est le parfait exemple avec ses pulsions rythmiques déroutantes. Musique d’art est une escapade sonore intransigeante, défiant son public à plonger au plus profond de lui-même.

Si l’écoute de cette pépite vous a aussi chaviré que moi, alors n’hésitez aucunement à répéter l’expérience les 4 et 5 juin prochain dans le cadre du festival. Vous aurez l’opportunité de voir le Quatuor Bozzini collaborer avec la talentueuse Andrea Young lors de la soirée d’ouverture et de les voir présenter la composition Agréable, désagréable, neutre d’André Cormier le lendemain.

Cette fresque auditive de haute voltige nous chavire aux quatre coins de notre corps, jouant avec notre confort, tiraillant nos méninges. Musique d’art est une escapade sonore intransigeante, défiant son public à plonger au plus profond de lui-même.

Review

Dolf Mulder, Vital, no. 1183, May 13, 2019

The profiled Quatuor Bozzini started in 1999 and interested mainly on contemporary music. They make their own decisions in choosing and producing their programs, never taking the easy way. Over the years they built up the impressive experience and premiered hundreds of compositions. About 20 CDs appeared filled with works by John Cage, Phil Niblock, James Tenney, Gyula Csapó, etc., etc. This time they concentrate on a composer from their homeland Canada, Simon Martin. Martin is a composer and producer of contemporary concert music, operating in the footsteps of Harry Partch, La Monte Young and James Tenney, implying a focus on natural intonation. With Musique d’art they set their teeth in an hour-long, five-movement composition for string quintet. Besides the Bozzini sisters and Allisa Cheung and Clemens Merkel, they are joined here by Pierre-Alexandre Maranda playing the double bass. Earlier Quator Bozzini performed work by Martin: Icebergs et Soleil de minuit — Quatuor en blanc (2007). But Musique d’Art is a welcome next step. The work is built from extended dissonant and abrasive sound entities, moving on like a massive tectonic plate, with a very differentiated sound spectrum at a micro level. In the second part there occur some dramatic changes where the music changes into harsh and noisy sections. Overall with this composition Martin offers an intriguing exercise in combining noise and music, that reminded me at moments of the work of Rumanian composer Iancu Dumitrescu. Playing with timbre and pitch the music deeply resonates, and is very expressive and emotional in its own way. In a great performance by Quator Bozzini and Maranda!

Playing with timbre and pitch the music deeply resonates, and is very expressive and emotional in its own way. In a great performance by Quator Bozzini and Maranda!

Review

Stuart Broomer, The WholeNote, no. 24:7, April 1, 2019
A kind of stable mystery, Musique d’art can only grow in significance.

Review

Daniel Barbiero, Avant Music News, February 28, 2019

For Musique d’art, a five-movement, hour-long work for string quintet by Martin (b. 1981), the quartet — which in addition to the Bozzini sisters includes violinists Alissa Cheung and Clemens Merkel — is joined by double bassist Pierre-Alexandre Maranda. Like Niblock’s two pieces, Musique d’art is centered on the development elongated chords, but with more variability of density, dynamics and rates of harmonic change. Pitches drop out and fade in; discordant tones come and go as the intervals between notes widen and narrow; bow articulations shift to introduce changes to timbre and to add complexity to the stacked overtones. Not all of this is about pitch relationships: while at times the quintet sounds like a robust, tuned and detuned tamboura, at other times their collective sound dissolves into harsh, grey noise and rough, unpitched textures. Martin set out to create a fecund dialectic of sound and music with the piece, and in that he has succeeded.

Founded by the Bozzini sisters, cellist Isabelle and violinist Stéphanie, the eponymous Montréal-based string quartet has been a significant presence in Canadian new music since the early 2000s. The Bozzini’s two CDs, one each of works by US composer Phill Niblock and Québec’s Simon Martin, are the latest additions to a substantial catalogue of recordings of sound — and concept-based contemporary music.

Baobab presents two large-scale works by Niblock (b. 1933). Both pieces — Baobab, originally composed in 2011, and Disseminate, composed in 1998 — were first written for orchestra and appear here as revised in 2017. By means of multi-track layering, they’ve been rearranged for string quartet multiplied times five. Both pieces are quintessential Niblock — thickly textured swarms of drones made up of microtones and moving timbres. Sustaining the requisite long tones undoubtedly is a challenge to the players’ physical stamina, but the sounds never falter.

Martin set out to create a fecund dialectic of sound and music with the piece, and in that he has succeeded. (cqb_1922). […] Both pieces are quintessential Niblock — thickly textured swarms of drones made up of microtones and moving timbres. Sustaining the requisite long tones undoubtedly is a challenge to the players’ physical stamina, but the sounds never falter. (cqb_1924)

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